Does the breed of a rooster matter in aggressiveness?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LikeTurkeys, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. LikeTurkeys

    LikeTurkeys Songster

    Jul 25, 2018
    Hi all,
    This is related to this thread, on how to keep a rooster from becoming aggressive.

    Some people thought that breed had nothing to do with aggressiveness, some thought it did. I have heard that RIR roosters are more aggressive than most, and after researching my breed of rooster (Dominique) for aggressiveness I found this sentence from Wikipedia disconcerting:

    "Dominique roosters can sometimes be even more aggressive than the Rhode Island Red and have been known to kill small cats, snakes, and even mink."

    As well as this,

    "Dominique roosters can be highly aggressive"

    from another site.

    Does breed really have anything to do with aggressiveness (and also, those of you who have owned Dominique roosters, please share your experiences!)

    I don't need any more info on how to deal with aggressiveness, or how to prevent it. This question is just out of curiosity.
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    In my experience? Breed definitely relates to aggression. And anyone who doesn't think it has a genetic component should go talk to a Charolais bull for a bit. [EDT: I swear, I didn't mean that the way it sounded. Please. Stay firmly on the other side of the fence.] If Leghorns are skittish and Australorps are calm, why can't Barred Rocks be aggressive?

    I've got no experience with Dominiques. Look pretty cool, though.
    Sequel and Firefoot like this.
  3. gunslinger33

    gunslinger33 Chirping

    Feb 3, 2018
    I think that the breed do play into the aggression mix along with individual personalities. IMO the best thing one can do to help ensure they get a rooster with sound mentality, is to buy from a reputable breeder. One that knows their birds and one that breeds for a purpose. They can give you feedback on their birds and their bird's behavior. Also you gave to ask what do you expect our of a rooster versus their programmed job. They are protectors, they just need to know the difference from you being a threat or a non-threat. We are fortunate with our two boys but I did purchase breeds that are more known to be less aggressive and flighty from an individual breeder.

    If Dominique is your breed I would find some high quality breeders and get more information on their birds , as to how their roosters and hens behave. The sire is 1/2 of the equation and the dam is the other 1/2. I would be alarmed of the hens were very dominant or gamey.

    The mass hatcheries have no idea who the sire or dam is of your particular bird. They choose high production and high fertility with multiple roosters and hens in the same enclosure. Their one on one or personal interaction with the "breeders" is probably no more than cleaning and feeding.
    sylviethecochin likes this.
  4. crazy4ChickensNducks

    crazy4ChickensNducks Songster

    Dec 16, 2018
    west, michigan
    the most aggressive Roos usually tend to be Dominique’s, RIR’S,and barnevelders
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    First, do not believe everything thing you read on the internet.

    Secondly, genetics can play a role on probable all behaviors and aggressiveness is very much one that is impacted by parentage. The phenotype (aggressiveness demonstrated) is still a function of genetics interacting with a given individuals history and current situation.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I keep American Dominiques and not found them to be particularly aggressive. Similar looking Barred Plymouth Rocks and especially California Grays have been more prone to aggressiveness under similar conditions. It is hard to make comparisons unless you have had many breeds and reared many individuals of each breed.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Aggression can mean different things, human aggression, being rough on other chickens both male and female, and some variations of these. I agree with Centrarchid on this. A lot depends on the person selecting which chickens get to breed and if this is a characteristic they select for, whichever type of aggression you are talking about.

    I have not raised enough purebred roosters of the same breed from enough different sources to have a mathematically significant data base. You have to have enough samples for averages to mean anything and I don't have that. I have raised the same breed of rooster from different hatcheries and noticed different behaviors, but that's not much of a sample size. If you read enough on here you can find examples of where Sikies or Buff Orpington roosters have been human aggressive or extremely brutal to other chickens and those are supposedly gentle breeds. Did I just happen to get a different one or was there that much difference in the two hatcheries? Most of what I raise are mixed breeds, not really applicable to talking pure breeds.

    I have raised a fairly large group of cockerels of the same breed from the same hatchery. Eighteen Buff Rocks from Ideal. I saw a lot of different behaviors between individuals, all from the same hatchery and raised together under the same conditions.

    Several years ago one of our forum members raised RIR for show. But he didn't just breed for the show qualities that a judge would see, he also bred for productivity and behaviors the breed was supposed to have. Very few people do that, most are going to breed for what a judge sees. That's hard enough without throwing in behaviors and productivity. He never had a problem with aggressive RIR roosters.

    From my limited sample size, from stories I've read on this forum, and from what I've seen with my mixed breeds my opinion is that strain is more important than breed. Even from the same strain you can get a wide variety of behaviors, but certain strains have tendencies if your sample size is big enough.
  8. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    I find there's a difference between a psychotic hen and a good, upstanding citizen who doesn't approve of idiots. Game hens are great broodies, stand up for themselves, and they'll be higher up on the pecking order than expected because of size. Yeah, they're aggressive, but they're a good sort of aggressive.
    animalcule likes this.
  9. digbychris

    digbychris Songster

    Apr 6, 2017
    I have raised australorps pretty much exclusively as far as layers go. Until last last summer I'd only had one rooster and he is so chill, big and beautiful. As of last week I now had 3 roosters, all australorps and everyone gets along pretty well. Except one. He was very aggressive to the hens during mating but not to me. Loss of feathers, scratches, bloody eggs... I had to cull him. I've had RIR in the past and holy cow, I had to take a rolled up newspaper everytime I walked his way, but to the hens he was fine. He had to go for sure. Like others I think breed makes a difference but genetics do play a part, and if they're aggressive in any way they're not worth keeping.

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